One of the largest current markets in the computer hardware industry is the small server and NAS device category. There are many different ways to go about this: build a full computer and install an operating system such as Windows Home Server or a Linux based OS, purchase a router with USB or eSATA capability for an external storage device, an all in one NAS device, or "other".
In this edition of Icy Tips, we are going to focus on the "other" alternative.
In recent years, a new type of networking device has shown its face and it has been dubbed a plug computer. A plug computer is a tiny, fully functioning computer that has very low power requirements and usually includes hardware like a gigabit Ethernet port and a USB port. Some variations also include an eSATA port or dual USB ports, and many other combinations. Now, the plug generally does not come with any software, so it is up to the user to find their own software and install it themselves. Or, they could purchase a "ready-to-run" plug which is already loaded with software, and simply needs to be connected to a router, have a USB storage device attached, and configured in a few simple steps.
The TonidoPlug, by the creative minds at Code Lathe LLC, has all the features mentioned above, and then some. The Tonido software suite is a set of applications ranging from a music player to money management software. You simply choose an easy to remember user name, and that is used to access your personal server and multimedia device from anywhere in the world via an internet connection and browser.
ICY DOCK 2010 CES
The best part about the plug is that the USB port allows for hub functionality, meaning the user can connect a multi-bay enclosure such as our MB561US-4S-1 or MB662 Series enclosures to it for the ultimate server, giving you access to up to 8TB of data!
ICY DOCK MB561US-4S-1 4 Bay 3.5" SATA to eSATA (Port Multiplier) and USB Aluminum HDD Enclosure for Mac & PC ICY DOCK 2010 CES
Code Lathe was nice enough to send us an evaluation unit to test out, so we did and it worked out great! Below is a link to our review of the TonidoPlug.
MB561US-4S-1 Product Page - www.icydock.com/product/mb561us-4s-1.html
MB662UEAB-2S Product Page - www.icydock.com/product/mb662ueab-2s.html
MB662US-2S Product Page - www.icydock.com/product/mb662us-2s.html
TonidoPlug Product page - www.tonidoplug.com/index.html